Even though we perform the procedure almost every day, we find there are many patients who dread the thought of wisdom teeth removal. While some patients do experience facial swelling after the procedure, most patients find they recover quickly and are pleasantly surprised at how smoothly wisdom tooth extractions can be performed. Let’s look at this common dental procedure, and what you can expect if you’re having your wisdom teeth removed.
Tooth extractions are probably up there with paying taxes – you know you have to, but the thought of it isn’t exactly thrilling. What probably compounds the dread for patients is the fact that we have four wisdom teeth that, if they are all troublesome, require extraction.
It’s important to note that wisdom teeth aren’t extracted all the time – it really is only done if your wisdoms are impacted. Some people don’t need to have theirs taken out, whereas other people can save themselves a lot of trouble later on, if they remove them at the first sign of being impacted.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted it means they have not penetrated your gum fully. The result of this is an accumulation of bacteria, which can quickly develop into an infection.
Impacted wisdom teeth do not grow straight. They can grow vertically, horizontally or angularly and this makes them much more difficult to keep clean than teeth that do grow straight. This makes impacted wisdom teeth very susceptible to decay.
How Do You Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?
The best way to monitor the eruption of your wisdom teeth is to visit your dentist regularly so he or she can assess their progress. If your dentist has any concerns, an x-ray will determine the position of your wisdom teeth if they are still in the gums.
Early intervention is always the best course of action because the tooth roots will not have become established in your gum. This can make the wisdom teeth removal less complex and less expensive.
It is also possible that you’ll present with symptoms like
- Bad breath
- Swelling or inflammation of the gum around your wisdom tooth
- Red sore gums
- A bad taste in your mouth
- Jaw stiffness, tenderness or pain
What Can You Expect From Wisdom Teeth Extractions?
Because your wisdom teeth are located right at the back of your mouth wisdom teeth removal is considered more invasive than extracting teeth at the front of your mouth.
Pain Management During Wisdom Teeth Extractions
Your dentist will ensure the area around your wisdom teeth is numb before working. You will have local anaesthetic, which will be injected into the gum and around your tooth.
Sometimes patients who are having more than one extraction prefer to be sedated. If this is the case, your dentist may administer anaesthetic orally or intravenously. Once you are both satisfied that the area is numb your dentist will make the necessary incisions to remove the tooth.
After Wisdom Teeth Removal
Afterwards you will be given some gauze to bite down on, to curb any bleeding. It is important that a blood clot forms over the wound, to enable fast healing. Do not touch the area with your finger, tongue or toothbrush for the first 24-hours after your surgery. Dislodging the blood clot can result in a very painful condition called dry socket.
Do not smoke, drink through a straw or drink hot beverages for the first day after your extraction.
How Much Do Wisdom Teeth Extractions Cost?
The cost of your wisdom tooth removal is very dependant on your personal circumstances such as the number of teeth to be removed, and the kind of anaesthetic used.